UK govt spied on SA - report

2013-06-17 10:55
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London - Foreign politicians and officials, including some from South Africa, who were at G20 summit meetings in London in 2009, had their computers and phone calls monitored and intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

In an exclusive report published on Sunday evening, the UK newspaper reported that some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies in order to read their email traffic.

This comes as Britain prepares to host a G8 summit starting on Monday.

Delegates at the 2009 summit were apparently spied on simply to secure Britain an advantage in meetings, The Guardian stated.

Details of the spying are revealed in documents marked top secret and which were uncovered by US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The newspaper also revealed that as early as 2005 Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) held a meeting “on a project to intensify spying on the South African foreign ministry”.

It stated that the aim of the meeting was to "gain access to [the] South African [ministry of foreign affairs] network", to "collect intelligence from target machines" and to "find more access points to increase reliability".

“It is clear that GCHQ was aiming to find out everything it could about the negotiating position of the government of [then president] Thabo Mbeki, an independently minded swing vote on issues of global economics and finance,” The Guardian wrote.

British spies allegedly tapped the phone lines of South Africa’s then high commissioner in London.

Read more on:    edward snowden  |  uk  |  privacy
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